Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction Mystery

Born: 1947 in Ames, Iowa



Illinois Connection

Paretsky moved to Chicago when she finished her undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas. She still resides there today.

Biographical and Professional Information

Sara Paretsky is best known for her mystery movels featuring the female private investigator, VI Warshawski. While born in Ames, Iowa, she grew up in Lawrence, Kansas. Educated at the University of Kansas and the University of Chicago, Paretsky worked in several Chicago business corporations. Her writing career began in 1977 and she has been the recipient of several literary awards.

She created Sisters in Crime, a worldwide organization to support women crime writers, which earned her Ms. Magazine’s 1987 Woman of the Year Award.

View Sara Paretsky's Library of Congress book talks:

*Fire Sale book talk from 2/27/2007 at:

*Shell Game: A V.I. Warshawski Novel with Maureen Corrigan from the National Book Festival on August 31, 2019 at:

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- """A Woman's Eye"""

-- *Anthony Award


-- """Blacklist"""

-- *Gold Dagger Award, Crime Writers Association


-- """Other Awards and Honors"""

-- *The Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for Lifetime Achievement, Crime Writers Association

-- *Grand Master Award, Mystery Writers of America

-- *Lifetime Achievement, Anthony Award

-- *Ms. Woman of the Year for creating Sisters in Crime, 1987

-- *Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement, Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2019